Mashed potatoes are a great side dish to make when you want to show a little extra effort. Add some gravy, and it almost feels like a special occasion. But not everyone has the time or energy to make homemade mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, the instant variety often leaves a lot to be desired. if you want to improve the taste and texture without the extra effort, adding a can of cooked new potatoes is a good way to upgrade your instant mashed potatoes.
Before you open the can and dump it in, there are a couple of extra steps needed. After they've been drained and rinsed, bring the potatoes to a boil in a pan with about ¼ cup of milk, then lightly mash them before adding to the instant mashed potatoes. Once they're mixed in, you can mash it all together to your desired lumpiness.
Besides camouflaging that your mashed potatoes aren't made from scratch, new potatoes are virtually the same as mature potatoes. According to Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, they're great sources of potassium and B6, which help with heart function, blood pressure, red blood cell production, and support of the brain and nervous system. So you can discreetly improve your instant potatoes' texture and increase its nutritional value.
Other Ingredients That Will Improve Your Instant Potatoes
If added canned potatoes aren't your thing, many other ingredients will improve your instant potatoes. The most obvious is to simply substitute a dairy product for the water. Whether you use skim milk or half-and-half, the results will make the mashed potatoes taste richer and creamier. You could also use non-dairy milk like soy or oat milk, or even chicken or vegetable stock.
Another way to make your instant mashed potatoes drool-worthy is to add a compound butter. Whip your favorite herbs, like garlic or chives in with some olive oil and your favorite kind of butter, and blend with the instant mashed potatoes. Compound butter is also a great way to season meat, as well as upgrade your steamed vegetables. Talk about versatility: one ingredient can liven up your whole dinner.
Other tried and true ingredients that will make your instant mashed potatoes taste better are sour cream, cream cheese, or Boursin cheese, which will all add a slight tang to the potatoes. Boursin's Garlic & Fine Herbs cheese -- also known as the secret ingredient in Disney's Mac and Cheese -- adds a tangy creaminess along with the flavor of garlic and herbs, and all you have to do is open one package. It is also available in a non-dairy variety. No matter what ingredients you choose, you don't need to settle for boring, plain instant potatoes.
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